Yeo Enjoys Top Spot in Ohio

By Sports NetworkJune 13, 2003, 4:00 pm
Vienna, Ohio -- Minny Yeo carded a 4-under-par 68 Friday to take the lead after the opening round of the Giant Eagle Classic. Yeo is one stroke ahead of eight players.
Pat Hurst and Michelle McGann each fired rounds of 3-under-par 69. That duo shares second place with Eva Dahllof, Liz Early, Catrin Nilsmark, Kristal Parker-Manzo, Marisa Baena and Patti Rizzo.
Yeo did not get off to the best of starts during her round at Squaw Creek Country Club. After a pair of pars, she three-putted for bogey at the par-4 third. Yeo got going at the par-5 fifth with a birdie to get back to even- par.
She then notched back-to-back birdies that helped her make the turn at 2- under. Yeo stumbled again to start her back nine. She bogeyed the par-4 10th when she missed the green left and was unable to get up-and-down.
Yeo then caught fire. She atoned for her mistake at the 10th with a birdie at the 11th from nine feet out and made it two in a row with a three-foot birdie putt at No. 12.
After a par at the 13th, Yeo notched back-to-back birdies from the 14th to briefly move to minus-5. However, she bogeyed the par-4 16th before parring the final two holes to finish at minus-4.
'I played really calm and very focused,' said Yeo, who tied her career-best round. 'I think I only missed two greens and I did really good.'
Yeo, whose best career finish was tied for 33rd at the Corning Classic in 2002, was stunned to be on top of the leaderboard with the strong field.
'Well, I'm really surprised and I realized on No. 15 and people were coming around taking pictures so I knew something was going on,' Yeo said. 'As soon as I went to 5-under, I knew today was the day.'
Hurst had an adventurous round. She started on the back nine with a pair of bogeys. On the front side, she birdied the fourth, eagled the par-5 fifth and birdied the par-five eighth to join the group at minus-2.
'It was obviously very sloppy out there,' said Hurst in reference to the course conditions that were sloppy since rain has plagued the area. 'They did an unbelievable job getting the greens in shape so you can putt on them.'
Hurst also began her round on the back side Friday. She parred her first eight holes before bogeying the par-4 18th. Around the turn, Hurst took advantage of the par-5s with birdies at Nos. 5 and 8, both par-5s. She closed her round in style with a 15-foot birdie at the par-3 ninth.
'It seems like they're putting the pins on the back trying to keep the pins on a higher level just because of the wetness from the rain,' said Hurst. 'It's tough to get them close because you're spinning it so much that it's pretty much you seem to have to fly the green to back them up to the hole.'
Rachel Teske, Michele Redman, Dottie Pepper, Joanne Mills, Michelle Ellis, Amy Fruhwirth, Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Lorie Kane and Kristin Lindstsrom are tied for 10th place at 2-under-par 70.
Annika Sorenstam, the top player in the women's game, is among a large group of players at minus-1.
Defending champion Mi Hyun Kim struggled to a 1-over-par 73. After just one birdie and two bogeys in her round, Kim is tied with a large group of players in 58th place.

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    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.